AAS 203rd Meeting, January 2004
Session 104 Black Holes
Oral, Wednesday, January 7, 2004, 2:00-3:30pm, Centennial IV

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[104.08] Tilted Thick-Disk Accretion onto a Kerr Black Hole

P. C. Fragile, P. Anninos (LLNL)

We present results from three-dimensional, general relativistic numerical studies of thick-disk accretion onto a rapidly-rotating (Kerr) black hole. These studies are novel for considering arbitrary tilts between the angular momenta of the black hole and the accreting gas. A tilted disk is subject to differential Lense-Thirring precession which causes it to twist and warp. We initialize the problem with the solution for a constant angular momentum, thick disk around a black hole with |a/M|=0.9. Using a metric transformation, we then tilt the black hole, and the disk is allowed to respond to the Lense-Thirring precession. Because we consider an inviscid disk, it is unable to transport angular momentum efficiently. After a brief period of rapid adjustment, it reaches a quasi-static, twisted, warped configuration. The changes to the disk structure could have a dramatic impact on the observational appearance of the black hole - disk system. These results may be relevant to active galactic nuclei, X-ray binaries, core-collapse supernovas, and gamma-ray burst progenitors.

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Bulletin of the American Astronomical Society, 35#5
© 2003. The American Astronomical Soceity.